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No new Zika cases in T&T

...Mother, son free of virus
Saturday, February 27, 2016

There remains only one confirmed case of the Zika virus in T&T.

This is after the two samples submitted to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) last week tested negative.

The samples were taken from two members of a Chaguanas family who exhibited symptoms of the virus.

Announcing this at the Ministry of Health’s weekly media briefing yesterday, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh reassured the nation that all available resources were being used to assist in the fight against the mosquito-borne virus.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed H1N1 cases has risen to 81, with seven more cases being reported between last week and yesterday.

He said while 103,593 homes had been inspected across the country, approximately 39,109 homes had not been, because of locked gates.

Deyalsingh said while the authorities were doing their part to eradicate the mosquito population, residents had the main responsibility to ensure their premises were free and clear of breeding sites.

A total of 217 dengue fever cases have been reported, with nine chikungunya cases recorded for the year so far.

Each regional corporation has also received a grant of $500,000 from the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, to assist in their respective public health campaigns.

Revealing that the last shipment of 20,000 vaccines was due to arrive in the country early next week, Deyalsingh took great pains to explain that with the 2015/2016 flu vaccine coming to an end in May/June, global production of vaccines for the current flu season had ceased.

He said there would be a gap between when the last shipment of flu vaccines and the new shipment of vaccines for 2016/2017 would arrive.

Deyalsingh said the new shipment of vaccines would be here by late August/September.

With the flu season running from October of the previous year to May of the current year, Deyalsingh said, "We are coming to the end of this year’s flu season."

However, the ministry had ordered an extra 20,000 doses "to take this country up to a total of 116,000 doses of H1N1 vaccines from the typical 6,000 doses," Deyalsingh said.

Also delivering brief remarks yesterday was CARPHA’s executive director Dr James Hospedales and Asst Director Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control, Dr Karen Polson-Edwards who elaborated on the work being done by the agency to fight the virus.

Hospedales said they had recently launched an application for cellphones seeking to educate children on the eradication of mosquito-breeding sites.